Televised live sport to resume in June with snooker tournament in Milton Keynes

Snooker will resume on June 1. Credit: PA

Milton Keynes will host the first live sport since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, with snooker's Championship League tournament set to be held in the town next month.

The event will be staged behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena, next to Stadium MK, from June 1 and will be shown exclusively live on ITV4.

The tournament was originally due to take place in Leicester, but was moved to Milton Keynes because the Marshall Arena has on-site accommodation - meaning no players, officials or staff will need to leave the venue once they've arrived.

64 players will battle for a top prize of £30,000, including current world champion Judd Trump and Kettering-based player Kyren Wilson.

The tournament will run for 11 days and players will need to test negative for Covid-19 to be able to take part.

Stadium MK in Milton Keynes. Credit: PA

Other safety measures in place will include:

  • Social-distancing measures in place throughout the venue

  • • Players seated at least two metres apart during matches

  • • Players using anti-bacterial hand sanitiser before matches and avoiding handshakes

  • • Referees endeavoring to keep two metres away from players where possible

  • • There will be no access for players’ guests

  • • First aid personnel on site at all times

  • Watch an interview with MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman

The ITV coverage will be fronted by Jill Douglas who will present from her home.

Commentators David Hendon, Phil Yates and Dominic Dale will cover the event from the venue but will follow strict social-distancing rules.

“Everyone at Stadium MK is incredibly excited to be able to play our part in bringing live sport back to TV’s across the nation,” MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman said.

“There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make sure our venue will be safe and Covid secure.

“We are eagerly awaiting June 1st and the start of what I’m sure will be another thrilling sporting occasion here in Milton Keynes during the year we celebrate being the European City of Sport.”